A while ago, while eating at a fast-casual restaurant, my husband asked for a ‘glass’ glass instead of a plastic cup for water. Although real glasses were right on the counter in front of us, the cashier refused to give him one, stating that they were only for customers who ordered beer! When I asked why, the cashier responded, “It’s just our policy.” Even though there was a customer standing right in front of her with a simple, human request, reliance on ‘following the policy’ prevented her from using common sense. And from acting in a compassionate way, as well. For me, that’s the even bigger problem. And one which we saw play out in the United flight incident a couple of days ago. Although everyone followed ‘the policy’, in the end, a lack of ‘common sense’, led to a horrific loss of compassion. So, my question is, if our policies and procedures don’t help people act with common sense and compassion, should they be our policies and procedures at all?

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